Salsa dancing
DVDs by category
Practise 'Solo' at Home
"On the line" Salsa & Mambo, On1 & On2
Cuban Salsa
Styling inspiration from amazing dancers
Turn Patterns
Timing & Rhythm
Bachata & Merengue
Cha Cha Cha
All Products
From Salsa to Mambo via Cha Cha Cha
Timing Products
Timing Exercises Vol 4
Timing Exercises Vol 3
Timing Exercises Vol 1&2
Salsa Timing DVD
Salsa Timing CD
Salsa with the Stars
Advanced Salsa Figures
Cuban for "Non Cubanos"
Salsa Personal Training
Bachata Caribbean Style
Feelin' Merengue
Tools for Students
Timing Lesson
Salsa Dictionary
Salsa Footwork
Salsa Articles
About Salsa
About Merengue
Salsa Video Scripts
Salsa Music Reviews
Salsa DVD Reviews

Us on Youtube: Salsa and Mambo, Bachata, Merengue

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us

© 2002-2012SalsaIsGood
All Rights Reserved.


Timing, rhythm & music interpretation in Salsa

Timing Training Set$120

Previous Page  

Distinguishing the "1" from the "5"

As we explained before, in salsa each bar of music is made of 4 beats and salsa music phrases cover blocks of 2 bars, which means 8 beats. It thus becomes important to understand when the first bar of the 2 bar sequence starts. In other words how to distinguish the 1 from the 5. Salseros who like to dance 'On 1' or on the 'clave 2' normally are not too concerned about this difference, but dancers on the NY2 can be very picky about this! We give three hints on how to distinguish between the 1 and the 5, of decreasing levels of sophistication.

1) If you have developed your musical skills, you can recognize whether the song is on the 2-3 clave or on the 3-2 clave, and the job is done! In our rhythm CD you can find the difference between 2-3 and 3-2 clave clearly explained.

2) In a slightly simpler approach, you may recognize that most salsa music is based on a 'call' and 'response' structure, which also originates from African traditions. The first bar of music makes the call, and the second one responds. In our timing DVD we show a typical example in African music, and an example in salsa.. The clave itself can be interpreted as a call and response between the 2 and the 3 hits. We also show an example of a simple 2 bar piano phrase. The first bar of music sounds 'unresolved', 'unfinished', as if you have to hold your breath for the second bar which resolves it. if you learn to pay attention to this, you will find it in most popular salsas.

3) Finally, the simplest, but also least accurate method.. most vocal parts start on the first bar.. so pay attention to where the lead singer or the choir starts and in most cases that gives you the first bar.. but be careful, this is a rough approach and it does not always work. music is too creative for such a simple rule to always apply.

Previous Page  



Ordering & Shipping Information Translated pages Contact Us